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Drought looms large as Daikundi receives inadequate snow

Drought looms large as Daikundi receives inadequate snow

Mar 17, 2016 - 13:29

BAMYAN CITY (Pajhwok): Officials in central Daikundi province on Thursday noted a decline in cropyield, saying there was inadequate snowfall this outgoing winter season.

Daikundi is a mountainous province, with some plains. Most of its residents are reliant on agricultureinfo-icon and livestock, but the local leaders are worried about a possible drought later in the year.

Hadi Rahimizada, a member of the provincial council, told Pajhwok Afghan News the people of Daikundi were poor. He said droughts and other natural disasters brought them more miseries.

He said 90 percent of Daikundi inhabitants were dependent on agriculture and livestock. A drought would affect all of them, the public representative feared.

Rahimzada added the government should have made contingency plans to deal with the situations and keep people from suffering losses in the event of a drought.

Given the precarious situation, he suggested, the government provide food items to the people on an emergency basis. If farmers were not supported, most of the people would migrate to Neili, the provincial capital.

Salman, a grower from Neili, confirmed all small rivers passing through the province and vallies might not provide enough water to irrigate lands. He said the drought prospects had worried all farmers.

Salman said farmers had offered special prayer for snowfall, but the province had received snow only once this season. Insufficient snowfall meant lack of irrigation water in the province, he continued.

Agriculture Director Mehdi Mowahidi said the province produced 47,000 tonnes of wheat, 5,600 tonnes of corn, 7,100 tonnes of almond, 11,000 tonnes of apricot and 3,500 tonnes of apple in the outgoing solar yearinfo-icon.

This year drought might affect the provincial production, he feared, explaining the ministry’s programmes -- promotion of vegetable growth, protection of natural agricultural resources, the cultivation of saffron and plantation of 15,000 saplings -- would be affected by the drought.

Karim Sarwash, the governor’s spokesman, reckoned agricultural production might fall by 30 percent, as there had been less snowfall this winter.

He warned most of the people would be hit by the drought and asked for early help from the central government and private sector to deal with the situation.

The government should chalk out plans for the irrigation of orchards, otherwise most of fruit farms would be damaged, he said.

Kabulinfo-icon and some provinces have received a lot of rainfall recently, but experts suggest it would not benefit the agriculture sector because the land could not absorb much of rain waters at this time.


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